My Scrapbook Resume

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let's Go to the Movies

We are a homebodied people, we Deutsches. I can stay home for days on end, happily puttering about with cleaning and scrapbooking. Dave can be entertained forever as long a he has books, Call of Duty, and TV. The kids adore the television like a member of the family. An since we are all out and about during  the week, on the weekends, we can be pretty immobile.

But with Shabbat ending early in the winter, Sam has been eager for us to go out on a Saturday night. And Max has been trying to get together with friends on Saturday eve.

So, finally, last week, Sam and I decided to go see Catching Fire. Dave was happy to come with.

But wait! That is a movie we all wanted to see together, and Max wanted to see his friends! What to do? What to do?

Well, Max came with us. As snow fell gently out the window, we rode the bus to the theater. 

We looked forward to walking home in the snow. 

We did walk home for most of the way, but by then, the snow had turned to rain.

But the real point of this story is that while we walked home, I said to Max, "Sorry you didn't get together with your friends tonight. 

And he said, "I am having fun." 

I said, "Oh. cool."

But what I thought was: "Oh frabjous day! Calooh! Callay!"

Because my 15 year old baby boy likes to hang out with his family.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Some Layouts to Share

Since I told a Max story this week, we'll continue with some layouts about Max. 

I shared this one at Write.Click.Scrapbbook., as I wrote about documenting in-jokes. 
Here's a little song that Dave made up about Max. It's quite catchy, and it doesn't mean anything. It's just silliness. Apparently, I got some of the lyrics wrong, but I don't feel like fixing them. Take that, posterity! 

I was never much of a fan of the color gold, but I have to say, all the trends in scrapbooking and fashion have converted me. Here was my first gold foray. I even bought some gold embossing powder! Now all i have to so is stamp something. 

Here is  just a silly little moment recorded. For posterity, no less.

Way back in the 1980's, being a nerd was a something to be avoided at all costs. Nowadays, it's a badge of honor, of sorts. It means you know a lot (and are slightly obsessed with) about comic books, games, or sci-fi shows. Sometimes my kids even argue about who is the bigger nerd, each one claiming the title for himself.
Go figure. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Max.

When he was little, he cried whenever his parents left his side (like every day at preschool). He hid behind his parents when people came to visit.

Well, Max grew, and grew, and grew until he became a very large teenager. (He barely even fits in this picture.)

And he wasn't scared to leave his parents anymore. (They were happy if he said goodbye before he left for school in the morning).

And he didn't hide from new people anymore. 

In fact, by now, Max was so big and brave and not shy anymore that he was in his school play. A musical. He danced (sort of), and sang, and wore a skirt. (I mean a kilt! a kilt!)

And his parents were kind of amazed and excited and proud of the whole thing. 

P.S. On the morning of the play, Max did say goodbye to his mommy. And then he just stood there for a few moments, not going anywhere. And his mother (who is quite fetching, I might add) realized that even though Max was big and brave and not shy anymore, he was feeling a little nervous, and so she gave him a hug and a kiss. And then off he went.

The moral of the story is: Even though you might think you don't like the music of Gilbert and Sullivan, after watching Pirates of Penzance, you will come to realize that their tunes are quite catchy, and that's probably why everyone likes them so.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chanukah, Oh, Chanukah

One day in late October, I received an exciting email from the lovely Stephanie Howell, asking if I'd like to create some Chanukah projects using My Mind's Eye products. Uh, yes please. Well, just opening that box of goodies was an experience on its own. Then I got to work and had a thrilling, and productive, time, creating and creating and creating.

Today it is all up and running on MME's blog, but I'll post it all here as well.

I do not usually work with a whole line of products. I just usually have bits and pieces from many different companies. Here I worked with MME's Cut and Paste, as well as Lost and Found-Record It. I was pretty shameless about mixing the two lines together; I couldn’t get enough of the grays, and vintage elements in Lost and Found, and then I liberally added pieces from the Cut & Paste collection for pops of holiday color and cheer.

Each night of Chanukah we light the candles together, and sing the blessings and the prayers. In my layouts, I like to capture the event, but I also liked to add a little detail that captures a little something about us as a family. So, I felt it important to record for posterity, that we are not very good singers- especially by day 8 of Chanukah, when the novelty has long worn off.

Chanukah food is pretty dang tasty, and while latkes get all the press, jelly doughnuts are a family favorite. We are lucky to live a block from a kosher bakery that sells fresh doughnuts each day of the holiday, and we are usually there first thing in the morning to buy our daily dose.

Since there are so many traditions that happen every year, I decided to make a mini album as a home for this year’s photos. And just because it’s Chanukah, I made eight topics for my album; Thanksgivukkah, candles, singing, gifts, latkes, doughnuts, chagigah (a party), and a Chanukah story. I tore right into the Lost and Found 6x6 paper pad for the base of the pages, and layered on elements from both collections. I am not an avid mini album maker, but this process was so quick and easy- everything just looked great together right away.  All of my pages were ready before Chanukah even started, and as soon as the holiday is over, I can pick out my favorite photos and pop them right in.

Now here’s something you might not know about lighting menorah. It can be a messy ordeal. There are menorahs, matches, and candles. At our home, we also light an oil menorah, so we have a bottle of olive oil and wicks that we use each night. So, this year, after many years of good intentions, I decided to make all this “stuff” look prettier.
First I created a decorative bottle for the olive oil:

Then a tin for all those little tiny wicks:

Inside that tin, fits a cute, matching match box.

Or the matches can be left out for this adorable, little tableau.

 And just because I was having fun, I made another matchbox too:

If nothing else, this year is definitely shaping up to be the prettiest Deutsch Chanukah ever, thanks to My Mind's Eye!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Write.Click.Scrapbook. December

Here it is, a layout for Write.ClickScrapbook.'s December gallery, Holiday Traditions:

This layout is more about how one particular tradition has changed a bit over the years; The Chanukah Wishlist. Sam, in particular, has taken this gift-y time of year very seriously, so the story is really about him.

This year, as the kids have gotten older, their lists were really smaller. Which allowed me to buy them some little gifts that in years past would have been a disappointment; slippers, a bathrobe, PJ's. Since their lists weren't filled with too many requests, or even a small amount of big expensive ones,  they seemed to appreciate these little surprises. 

It's only the beginning, but I am enjoying this year's holiday immensely.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Pinterest Fail, That's Not From Pinterest

A few weeks ago, I saw a link to this DIY menorah on Facebook:

It was Sunday morning, and I said, "Kids, I know what we're doing today! We are making this menorah."

Well, Max had play practice (more on that to come), but Sam was happy to oblige. But in the process, Sam made a major change. He decided to make a menorah out of Legos. Which is good, because I was having trouble drilling holes in some of our toy dinosaurs.

Turns out it was difficult to get the right sized hole in Legos too. After much searching and drilling through different materials, we found these rubbery things that say they were meant for using candles in an oil menorah. Then, Sam spray painted the whole thing silver.

Perfect, right?

It was, and Chanukah arrived, and Sam lit this baby up.

We sang, exchanged gifts, and all that jazz.

And a little while later, a strange smell was coming from the living room. So, it could be the spray paint, or the rubber candle holders, both of which seem flammable to me. Either way, it was a little bit too well lit, and had to be put out.

 Sam declared it a Pinteret fail, even though Pinterest was never involved in the first place. But, it seems like the type of project that would be found on Pinterest.

Since this post is a story of Sam's craftiness, I will share this layout here. Same craftiness, different story.

Happy Chanukah, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On Inertia, Getting Started, and Blogging Your Heart

Oh, 2013, you have been a wonderful year, so far. A perfectly ordinary, life has its ups and downs kind of year.

It has not, however, been a great year for my blogging life. Which is okay, I guess. At some point, I decided blogging regularly just wasn't a goal for me anymore. I can't do it all, after all. But, now I would like to start again. For weeks, I have been collecting ideas. I have real notebook pages, and digital notebook pages filled with plans and words to get me started. I just didn't get to the starting part.

That's the power of inertia at work. Starting is hard.

But I came across Stephanie Howell's Blog Your Heart series. I'm using it as the nudge I need to get started.

So now I did it. I just have to keep doing it.

Let's move on to exercise. I had a pretty good rhythm going in 2013. It felt great.

Bike riding, with generous doses of Ellen Barrett DVD's,  (one day, I should write and scrap all about Ellen Barrett), had me feeling healthier than I ever  before.

But about a month ago, I was having some leg pains that could not be ignored. I didn't do anything crazy like, say, go to the doctor, but I realized I needed to take a break and heal. Stopping exercise is quite relaxing, I should tell you. It frees up some time, that's for sure. But, I feel  inertia lurking behind me, waiting to take over, so that another decade or two can go by before I start again. Because starting is so hard! So before inertia could fully work its evil magic, I tried a workout. I took it a little easy. One of the things I love about Ellen Barretts's approach to fitness, is her focus on paying attention to how your body feels. "If something doesn't feel right, modify it..." The next day I thought I really overdid it, but I realize now that was just the sore muscles talking. 

Ok, this is not the world's most interesting and/or earth shattering blog post. But it's a start.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Write.Click.Scrapbook November

Here's the layout:

  The theme for this month's gallery is "Dreaming." And, I felt a little weird using Comic Con pictures for said gallery, but really these guys have been dreaming of this day for months and months. In the summer, they were telling me all the things they needed to make their costumes, and I was like, "Why, oh why, are you talking about this now?" But all that dreaming and planning paid off, because their costumes kind of rocked.

They have already started thinking and planning and dreaming (Dave actually had a dream about his costume) for next year. I won't give away any details yet, but I will say  that Sam has been "working out," (on a sprained ankle, no less) because we have mentioned that we are not buying a muscle suit for a costume. So he's trying to build up some actual muscle.

Max was worried about walking through the streets and taking public transportation while sporting his costume, but before he even walked a few blocks, some admirers yelled out praises to him from their cars, and it made him feel pretty, darn good.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Write.Click.Scrapbook. Sneak Peek, and a Whole Peek

Here's the peek. Now, for full disclosure-it's a layout about Comic Con. Which still doesn't tell you the theme of November's gallery. For  that, you will simply have to head on over to Write.Click.Scrapbook on the 1st of the month.

But while we are talking about Comic Con, here's a layout about some of the preparations that went on before the big day. This was the first year the Deutsch Males dressed up, and they took this very seriously. On occasion my skills were needed, too. Some of those skills were crafty (like knowing when to use duct tape, and when to use spray paint). Other skills I have simply because I'm a girl, and I know that there exists a thing called hairspray. Max was in awe when he saw how it works.

Even Dave got a little crafty, which he probably hasn't done since elementary school:

He even used crayons:

What with the end of October coming up, I know the world is abuzz with costume preparations. I hope they all work out as well as these guys' did:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

On Voices Big and Small

I am going to veer from my usual topics of scrapbooking and family for this post, and talk a little about Jewish stuff. And, it's going to be wordy.

Here goes.

First, by way of introduction:

A while ago, I made this layout. (See, still some scrapbooking.)

I made it as my own little response to something someone said to me at work, but really it reflects a big part of me. I have always been quiet and shy. For a good long while, (through childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood) I thought this was something that needed to be fixed. But one of the beautiful things about being an adult for a while, is that you (hopefully) realize you are just fine the way you are. Not perfect, but good enough. And while being shy can hold me back, it is also, perhaps, the source of some of my strengths.

So, it was with this feeling of contentment and self confidence that I went to shul (synagogue) this Simchat Torah. It's a joyful holiday with singing and dancing and praying with the Torah. Now, for the last few years, I have been going to the Stanton Street Shul. I go there (though the rest of my family attends elsewhere) because I enjoy the Rabbi,  the services, and though it's small, and the building is falling apart, it is a happy place.

And, I go to the Stanton Street Shul because they find places within the confines of Jewish law to include women in the services as much as possible. This is most important to me on Simchat Torah, where this is the one shul in my neighborhood where women can dance with the Torah. And more than that, women are called upon to recite some of the prayers out loud (or even sing) during the hakafot. And this is the point of my story.

The Story:

This year, I believe, was the first where my name was called from the bima, to recite a line from the "Ata Hareita." My heart stopped, my hands shook, and my voice cracked like a pubescent male as I said my verse out loud. And when I was done, I whispered to the women next to me how terrifying that was for me to do. After all, I am quiet (see above). And she said something to the point of, "It's because you were taught not to use your voice in shul." And, I responded, "No. It's not like that. I'm just a shy person. It's okay." I, and many Orthodox women I know, do not feel like a victim in  the male dominated synagogue. 

But, I thought about it more, and I watched other as other women looked and sounded nervous as they recited their lines aloud.  It's true, I'm quiet and shy. But, I suppose that if over the years, I had been expected to occasionally lead the prayers, or read the Torah, I would have a stronger voice while praying in shul. I would not feel suddenly terrified to read Hebrew words that are so familiar to me, aloud. 

Over the course of the holiday, I watched as some women sang loud and clear; and I admired them.  And, I was most moved by watching women look a little nervous and a little shy, (some asked for help from the women around them), as they found their voices and prayed out loud. 

The Message:

Do I feel like Orthodoxy is a patriarchal system, trying to keep our women quiet and submissive. Nope. I think that for a variety of reasons, both religious and historical, this is the way our traditions have developed.

Does that need to change?
Many will say, quite adamantly, that it CAN'T and it shouldn't. I totally get that. Personally, I am perfectly happy to sit quietly at the back of the shul, and watch the men do all the work. Really. I never once sat in shul and thought, "I wish I could be up there, on that side of the mechitzah."

Not once.

But, even if I haven't, some girls and women out there have. Some will in the future. And for them, there needs to be a place within Orthodoxy for them to feel heard and understood. There need to be opportunities for them to be involved in services to the extent that halacha allows. 

For that reason, I will attend women's prayer groups in my neighborhood. I will volunteer to help make them successful. And even though I really want to stay in shul with my mouth closed, maybe sometimes, even a comfortably quiet person has to be a little louder.

Which is a shame for the rest of you, because my singing voice is not that hot.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Write.Click.Scrapbook. October

Well here it is; another month, another layout:

The theme for this month, is "A Day in the Life." I chose to focus on one small part of my everyday routine, and that is my bike ride to and from work. Quite frankly, I think it would be a crime to NOT make  a layout about bike riding, what with those cute bicycle paper clips from Maya Road, and all. The Cocoa Daisy triangle stamps came in handy too.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Write.Click.Scrapbook. September

This month, we were each asked to choose a color palette to work with. My August Cocoa Daisy kit really made this layout easy; There were so many beautiful greys, and so many pieces from Basic Grey's Carte Postale collection, that everything came together with extraordinary ease.

It has been a slow month crafting wise, and the good part of that, is that I still have a lot of this kit left to work with.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Becoming A Junior Ranger

This layout tells a long, complicated, inside joke, story. When describing one of those kind of jokes that has a long back story, there is always the chance that other people will read it and say, "Umm, I don't get it." Of course, the answer is that, "You had to be there."

As I usually do, I printed the photos first. After playing with the pictures and papers for a little while, I realized I better get all the writing done, because there will be a lot of words. Once I had written it all, I decided to just print it out on cardstock and work the photos and embellishments around the journaling. It was a little scary  to work in that order; once it's printed on the cardstock, it can't be moved around anymore. I had no problem committing to marriage at a young age, but committing to a design element before I am 100% sure where I want it to go, is a whole 'nother story.

 I think it's kind of cute, though.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Little More about Dave

This one is short and sweet.

He REALLY likes beer, and he REALLY has a thing for condiments:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Good Enough Mother

There is a scrapbook layout at the end of this post. Promise. Two of them even.

Over the years, I have read countless articles about the state of feminism, women in the work place, women  at home, women balancing work and home. I guess I read all those articles because pretty much my entire adult life has been spent married, working, and parenting. So, you know, they were articles that were related to me.

I also liked to read all those articles, because they allowed me to feel a little smug. All those articles often mentioned how even though women were earning more, and working more, they were still taking on more of the parenting and housework responsibilities. And, I was able to read those articles, smile, and say, "I don't fit into that category."

Because from the moment we were married, Dave has done the cooking. Sure, over the years, I eventually learned to fill in when he couldn't make dinner, or days where it just made sense for me to do it. But most of the time, I just come to  the table. I, in turn, have cleaned up Dave's messes, which have been  many. And just as I have learned to cook over the years, he has learned to clean up after himself a little better.

And, on the first night home from the hospital, with a scrawny, screaming, baby Max I really wanted to be the perfect, all knowing, ever calm, mother to soothe my crying newborn. But, while I knew that childbirth would be painful, I didn't know that for a good long while after childbirth, you still feel like you were hit by a truck, and kicked in the nuts, even though you don't have any nuts. Oh, and it turns out, I didn't really know what I was doing. And, I later learned, that even when you do know what you are doing, babies still cry, and sometimes that crying will make you wish that you were hit by a truck so that you can just lie in bed and recover. So, on that first night, after I fed Max, and changed him, and walked back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth,  and he still didn't stay asleep when I put him down, and everything hurt, Dave said, "You go to bed, I'll take over."  I felt like a failure, but I also didn't think I could stand up for one more second. I even apologized to Dave for being a bad mother, and that he had to get up in the middle of the night. And, he said, "I'm pretty sure I'm also responsible for taking care of him."

So on that night, though I didn't want to, I handed over my baby to his father, and I had to admit, that I was not the all knowing, ever calm, soothing mother. And that was the best thing I have ever done. I certainly have spent plenty of time in the last 15 years feeling guilty for my mothering skills, but I can also admit, that I am not as bad at it as I sometimes think. More importantly, I don't  have to be the perfect, because there is someone else to pick up my slack.  I'm pretty sure my kids are better off for it.

And, as promised, there is a layout to go with this:

In my 15 years as a parent, and slightly fewer years as a preschool teacher (during which all different kinds of families have walked through my classroom doors), I have come to appreciate that being a mother doesn't mean always being the one to provide care, comfort, and stability for children, but to help make sure that they are being cared for and comforted by someone who loves them. It could be a grandparent, sibling, nanny, partner...any combination of loving adult humans can work.

Which reminds me of this layout that I made last year:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

And Then They Left For Camp

This is the first time, both Max and Sam have left home for summer camp. There was definitely a time when I would have slobbered at this opportunity for peace and quiet and alone time with Dave. It is nice, to be sure, but we had such a nice time together in the month of July, that I wasn't desperate for them to leave. But, leave they did.

First Max :

He had a few days with my parents before he went to camp in Israel. He was well fed during those 2 and a half days.

Then Sam:

So, it's been quiet and clean (I do like the clean) around here. It seems that everyone is having a good time, but I, for one, am ready for everyone to be back together under one roof.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What We've Been Doing This Summer

Well, first, I can tell you what I haven't been doing, and that is blogging. 

So let's go back to June and July. For the first time, I think ever, neither Max nor Sam was signed up for camp until the end of July. And there were no trips or special events to break up the time until their respective camps started. 

So I needed a plan to keep these guys busy. I came up with a little schedule, for which I was greatly mocked at first, but it came in quite handy when summer finally rolled around. Pretty soon, they were saying things like, "Wait, is today a neighborhood walk day?"

We didn't follow this schedule too closely, but it made sure that we always had a project planned or somewhere to go. It was quite pleasant, actually.

We walked to Williamsburg: 

Took some photos:

Visited the City Reliquary:

We discovered a really cool community garden:

We baked:

And we made some cool projects:

There was also lots of time spent watching TV, swimming, getting ready for camp, and just doing nothing. It already seems like a long time ago.